polkit-agent-helper-1 prompts for authentication on the wrong DISPLAY.

Bug #797960 reported by deadmeat on 2011-06-15
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
policykit-1 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: policykit-1

Steps to recreate this bug:
- Fresh install of Ubuntu 11.04 desktop amd64 in a vm (just to confirm this bug).
- get any vnc server (in this example: sudo apt-get install tightvncserver)
- run vncserver (set password etc etc)
- connect with a vnc viewer
- launch something that requires polkit authentication,
   in this example:
   users-admin (system->administration->users and groups)
   click 'advanced settings' (this requires authentication to access)
- the polkit authentication dialogue will show up on DISPLAY :0 instead of DISPLAY :1 where your VNC session is.

This bug makes graphical system administration impossible on headless systems.
The debug information was generated on a fresh/clean VMWare installation, using tightvncserver with display :1
I have tested and seen this same effect under NXServer and X11 forwarding over ssh.
The only way I could 'see' the prompt was by attaching to DISPLAY :0 remotely (ie vino, or NXServer's 'shadow' mode).

I have also tested and seen this same effect on Ubuntu netbook Remix 10.x.

1) Ubuntu 11.04
2) apt-cache policy policykit-1
  Installed: 0.101-1ubuntu1
  Candidate: 0.101-1ubuntu1
  Version table:
 *** 0.101-1ubuntu1 0
        500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ natty/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
3) The Authentication dialogue should show on the proper DISPLAY (ie DISPLAY :1 in this example)
4) The authentication dialogue actually appeared in DISPLAY:0 (as in, the native display)

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: policykit-1 0.101-1ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.38-8.42-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.38-8-generic x86_64
Architecture: amd64
Date: Wed Jun 15 16:14:00 2011
ExecutablePath: /usr/lib/policykit-1/polkit-agent-helper-1
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Release amd64 (20110427.1)
SourcePackage: policykit-1
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

deadmeat (deadmeat-launchpad) wrote :
description: updated
description: updated
David B (divergent) wrote :

Ran into a similar issue with NX and I was able to resolve it by setting up my NX client to execute the following rather than use the default GNOME options set in the freenx node:

gnome-session --session=classic-gnome

This allows the password prompts to display.

Vincenzo Tibullo (enzotib) wrote :

It is not a bug, policy kit simply behaves has requested for a non-local user.

With an appropriate policy, you could obtain what you expect also for a non-local user.

See my answer on http://askubuntu.com/: http://askubuntu.com/questions/47942/headless-ubuntu-11-04-problematic-experience-when-machine-is-headless-user-is/54053#54053

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in policykit-1 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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